Back to the coffee this week; I venture to a favourite stopover for cyclists in South Bank. Espresso Garage has been around for more than eight years now, establishing itself well within the coffee drinking and cycling communities alike.

Taken over by new owner April Shen last year, she has taken the helm of the small, garage-like space along Grey Street. Heavily influenced by the trendy cafes dotted along Melbourne’s alleyways, Garage Espresso has a strong urban styling, offering something slightly different compared to many of the other cafes in South Bank. “It’s different to a Brisbane cafe style,” April explained, taking a break between making takeaway coffees for passersby.

Growing up with a passion for coffee, having fallen in love with the warming smell of coffee in the morning, April has always seen herself owning a coffee shop. “When I was young, I always wanted my own coffee shop,” she excitedly told. Looking back reminiscently, she added, “I dreamt of a French-style cafe.” Driven by good customer service, and good coffee, seeing her customers – many of which are regulars – with a smile is the real reward for April. “Once I see a happy customer, that’s what I want,” April explained.

While the styling might be a little different, the usual fare of coffee favourites are on offer, from your short blacks and macchiatos to lattes and cappuccinos. If you fancy your coffee in a mug however, you might be in for another surprise. “We use bowls instead of mugs,” April laughingly told, amused by my own surprise. Dubbed the ‘Betty Blue’, there is a whole lot of coffee to be enjoyed – perfect for awakening your senses in the morning. Feeling quite awake already, I opted for a standard flat white this morning. Crafted from a Genovese Italian-style blend, the coffee is strong and full-bodied,  giving that little extra kick.

There is also a basic all day cafe menu available, featuring the likes of toasties, croissants, muesli and fruit salad.

Garage Espresso is open seven days a week: 6:00am-4:00pm weekdays and 6:00am-3:00pm weekends.

Keagan Elder